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West should not be apprehensive about Syrian congress in Sochi — Lavrov

The Sochi congress has "very strong support to the Geneva process," Lavrov said

SOCHI, January 30. /TASS/. Moscow is convinced that the Western partners should not feel apprehensive about the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"As for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, he (the French foreign minister - TASS) spoke firmly for the Geneva process getting a second wind, or even a first wind, as this process has been going on middling well up till now," he said. "It (the Sochi congress) is very strong support to the Geneva process, to the United Nations’ role, of course, on the basis of Resolution 2254, which means that any steps are to be subject to mutual consent between the government and the opposition. So, there should be no apprehensions about that."

"Nothing can be done without consent from the government and the opposition," Lavrov stressed.

"As for comments we hear from Paris, Washington and some other capitals, our congress is being held openly, with participation of United Nations Secretary Generals’ Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, observers from all permanent member nations of the United Nations Security Council, from all Syria’s neighboring countries, from other Arab states and from Kazakhstan and a host nation of the Astana process," he noted.